Thankful [Enhanced CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Anybody older than 18 who's watched American Idol for any length of time will undoubtedly find the similarities between this talent contest and such square '60s/'70s variety programs like The Andy Williams Show startling and unavoidable. Whenever the kids are hauled out to sing an oldie or stumble through a production number, AmIdol goes into a time warp, particularly because they're nearly always singing the same songs that would have shown up on The Andy Williams Show all those years ago. That's because this is a show biz creation, not an organic pop phenomenon. It goes for the choreographed razzle-dazzle, it has the sense of "let's put on a show!" and it's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Anybody older than 18 who's watched American Idol for any length of time will undoubtedly find the similarities between this talent contest and such square '60s/'70s variety programs like The Andy Williams Show startling and unavoidable. Whenever the kids are hauled out to sing an oldie or stumble through a production number, AmIdol goes into a time warp, particularly because they're nearly always singing the same songs that would have shown up on The Andy Williams Show all those years ago. That's because this is a show biz creation, not an organic pop phenomenon. It goes for the choreographed razzle-dazzle, it has the sense of "let's put on a show!" and it's about the televised show; the music is there to serve the program, not vice versa. This makes for splendid entertainment, but the format of the show and its inherent squareness do make it difficult for contest winners to appeal to listeners their own age, since the show has positioned them to be as unhip as possible. Take Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first American Idol, aired in 2002. Her first single, "A Moment Like This," may have been a number one hit, but it was such a staid adult contemporary tune that it suggested that her career was over before it really began, since it was not a work that played to her age or audience, and it gave her no room to grow. Somebody -- whether it was Kelly herself or her monolithic management -- realized that she was not on a path to either a long career or a successful one-shot album and rethought the game plan for her much-delayed debut album, Thankful. Originally, this album was going to come out mere months after the end of the original American Idol, but it was delayed for a variety of reasons, including Clarkson's taxing schedule and difficulty in cobbling together workable material. Ultimately, the decision to delay the record paid off, because Thankful is a sharp, versatile modern pop record, showcasing her voice, to be sure, but being much better than expectations, much better than the scores of flop diva records that cluttered the pop landscape in late 2002. Why? There are many reasons, but the biggest is that everybody involved managed to make Kelly Clarkson seem younger and hipper without slutting her up like Christina Aguilera (who, ironically, co-wrote "Miss Independent," the first single from Thankful) while retaining a strong sense of melodic songcraft. She still can appeal to a wide, mature audience, but no longer does the music sound quite so static. Witness the new mix of "A Moment Like This" -- it's still the same treacly song, but it now breathes; it doesn't sound stiff and reserved, it gives Kelly's voice room to roam. It's a major step forward toward a fresh sound, and Thankful follows through on its promise, delivering dance-pop that's catchy and flirty without being trampy and ballads that are tasteful without being boring. Amazingly, the album has a light, effortless touch, an impressive feat considering that it was certainly as overworked as any of the big, leaden diva discs of 2002. Much credit is due to executive producer Clive Davis, who masterminded the effort, deftly balancing the dance and ballad sides, making it sound easy. But the record simply wouldn't work without Clarkson, who can navigate the shifts in sound with vigor and personality. Although it hardly breaks any new ground, Thankful is much more demanding than an episode of American Idol, since it's all new material covering the spectrum of mainstream pop music. Throughout this record, she makes it seem effortless and charming. She can croon, she can belt out a song, she can be sexy and sassy while still being graceful and as wholesome as the girl next door. After listening to Thankful, it's hard to imagine any of 2003's American Idol contestants -- including the two favorites, loverman Ruben Studdard and clenched, show tune-loving Clay Aiken, since both have taken one sound and driven it into the ground -- being able to produce a record so versatile while sounding like it's all so easy. True, Thankful isn't a record that's earth-shaking, but in 2003 it is something special all the same: an unapologetically mainstream record that works and is very enjoyable. Maybe American Idol really does turn out pop stars. [An Enhanced CD version added a CD-R.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2003
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 888837944724
  • Catalog Number: 379447
  • Sales rank: 16,459

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Trouble With Love Is (3:41)
  2. 2 Miss Independent (3:34)
  3. 3 Low (3:28)
  4. 4 Some Kind of Miracle (3:39)
  5. 5 What's Up Lonely (4:09)
  6. 6 Just Missed the Train (4:11)
  7. 7 Beautiful Disaster (4:12)
  8. 8 You Thought Wrong - Tamyra Gray (3:50)
  9. 9 Thankful (3:02)
  10. 10 Anytime (4:07)
  11. 11 A Moment Like This (3:49)
  12. 12 Before Your Love (4:01)
  13. 13 [CD-ROM Track]
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kelly Clarkson Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Matthew Wilder Guitar, Piano
Betty Wright Background Vocals
Bruce Dukov Violin
Evan Rogers Background Vocals
Richard Todd French Horn
Louis Biancaniello Keyboards
Charlie Bisharat Violin
Debra Byrd Background Vocals
Chris Camozzi Guitar
Larry Corbett Celli
Kenneth Crouch Organ
Joel Derouin Concert Master
Doug Emery Keyboards
Face Musician
Steve Ferrera Percussion, Drums
Josh Freese Drums
Berj Garabedian Violin
Paul Gendler Guitar
Reggie Hamilton Bass
Peter Kent Violin
Rhett Lawrence Guitar, scratching, DJ
Lee Levin Drums
Clif Magness Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Cindy Mizelle Background Vocals
Peter Nocella Viola
Steve Pearce Bass
Tim Pierce Guitar
Olle Romo Guitar
Tommy Sims Bass
Leslie Smith Background Vocals
Carl Sturken Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Willis Background Vocals
John Wittenberg Violin
Jeanette Wright Background Vocals
Ken Yerke Violin
Conesha Owens Background Vocals
Danielle Brisebois Background Vocals
Dan Warner Guitar
Sam Watters Background Vocals
Sharlotte Gibson Background Vocals
Randy Jackson Bass
Pathik Desai Guitar
Mike Elizondo Bass
Emma Kummrow Violin
Charlene Kwas Violin
Igor Szwec Violin
Gregory Teperman Violin
Mary Griffin Background Vocals
Steve Mac Keyboards
Darrin McCann Viola
Abe Laboriel Jr. Drums
Wayne Rodrigues scratching, DJ
Bob Becker Viola
Jim Gasior Piano
Corky James Guitar
Alexandra Leem Viola
Teddy Campbell Drums
Gina Taylor Pickens Background Vocals
Jennie Lorenzo Cello
Michele Richards Violin
Ghislaine Fleishman Violin
Rebekah Jordan Background Vocals
James J. Cooper III Cello
Gloria Justen Violin
Dan Smith Celli
Jr. Charles Parker Violin
Sheree Ford-Payne Background Vocals
The Underdogs Musician
James Hurrah Guitar
Jeremy Ruzumma Organ
Suzy Benson Background Vocals
Frederick "Frizzy" Karlsson Guitar
Aisha Wright Background Vocals
Daniela Giulia Pierson Viola
Lorenza Stopponi Background Vocals
David Yang Viola
Technical Credits
Matthew Wilder Composer, Programming, Producer
Desmond Child Composer, Producer
Evan Rogers Composer, Producer
Cathy Dennis Composer, Producer
Gary Burr Composer
Louis Biancaniello Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
David Campbell Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Horn Conductor, String Conductor
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Scott Cutler Composer
Clive Davis Executive Producer
Doug Emery Arranger, Programming, Engineer
Face Producer
Steve Ferrera Producer
Larry Gold String Arrangements, String Conductor
Jimmy Harry Composer
Rhett Lawrence Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Pro-Tools
Lee Levin Engineer
Clif Magness Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Csaba Petocz Engineer
Olle Romo Pro-Tools
Robin Sellars Engineer
Carl Sturken Composer, Producer, drum programming
Diane Warren Composer
Chris Willis Vocal Arrangements
Andy Zulla Engineer, Pro-Tools
Dave Arch String Arrangements
Matt Howe Engineer
Damon Thomas Composer
Jim Watts Pro-Tools
Danielle Brisebois Composer
Sam Watters Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer
Steve McMillan Pro-Tools
Frank Harkins Art Direction
Dino Hermann Engineer
Steve Mac Producer
Brett Kilroe Art Direction
Harvey Mason Jr. Composer
Al Hemberger Engineer
Jules Gondar Engineer
Christina Aguilera Composer
J.D. Andrew Engineer
Stephanie Saraco Composer
Jörgen Elofsson Composer
Chris Laws Engineer
Craig Lozowick Engineer
John Reid Composer
Rich Balmer Engineer
Kelly Clarkson Composer
Conrad Golding Engineer
Dabling Harward Vocal Editing
Matt Morris Composer
Tamyra Gray Composer
Sean Tallman Engineer
Jeffrey Chestek Engineer
Dave "Natural Love" Russell Engineer
Rebekah Jordan Composer
Kenneth Edmonds Composer
The Underdogs Producer
Paul "Chez Feezie" Boutin Engineer
Carlos Alvarez Engineer
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